Celebrity Style lizzie-miller

Published on December 5th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe

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Glamour Magazine Features (gasp!) a Real Woman!

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Lizzie Miller

It’s the photo that sparked hundreds of letters.  Is this photo Lizzie Miller going to change the face of the modeling industry?

The picture above of 20-year-old Lizzie Miller graced page 194 of the September 2009 Glamour magazine. Miller is a size 12-14 and heard from agencies that she was too big to be a plus size model. In the modeling industry, size 8-10 is the “plus size” range, which is crazy when you consider that Miller is an average (or even slightly below-average) sized woman.

After the magazine hit newsstands, the publishers received over 700 emails and comments from women delighted to see a normal-sized model on the pages.  Check out the Today Show segment about Miller:

Is Healthy the New Skinny?

Thanks to body-positive awareness campaigns and even some modeling agencies promoting a healthy body image, it appears that the tide may slowly be turning. The outpouring of support for Miller’s photo definitely speaks to what women want to see on magazine pages.

As long ago as 2006, even women within the industry began to speak out against super skinny models on the catwalk when Madrid Fashion Week banned all models with a BMI of less than 18.


While there are definitely a fair number of skin-and-bones women on runways and in magazines, I think that Miller’s photo and the buzz it’s generating are definitely going to impact what designers and agencies consider an “average” sized woman. Since the issue of Glamour came out and emails and comments started rolling in, Miller has started getting a lot more offers for work. Let’s hope that this is the start of a trend!

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h/t: Guardian

Image Credit: Photo by Walter Chin for the September issue of US Glamour


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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .



  • http://unorthodoxparadox.blogspot.co Mercedes Diane Griffin Forbes

    It certainly is great to see a model that reflects what most women actually look like. Maybe one day designers will actually design clothes to fit real women’s bodies as well. I can’t tell you how much I stress over my weight. Although I know I am an average size or maybe even a little below, I still fight the urge to have a magazine inspired body. All of my female friends and family members are always dieting and no one looks like the women we see in the fashion industry. It would be fabulous if the tide would turn and we can stop being made to hate ourselves by unrealistic standards that are bombarded on us in every magazine!

  • Emilie C

    How would she be considered too big to be plus size? shes not big at all!

  • Debbie

    I think this girl is BEAUTIFUL. It’s very nice to see someone who is not a skin bag of bones. This girl has shape and curves…absolutely gorgeous. She would make clothes look fabulous as they would fit her, not hang on her. In my opinion, size 12-14 should be the perfect size. I would do anything to look like this girl, anything less would look sickly. You go girl!!!

  • Jezebella

    I would hit it :p

  • tracy jones

    I am overweight and my cholesterol is fine and my blood work is always normal when you have horrible health problems like I have from a nerve problem and arthritis you can due everything and still fight my weight all the time I was thinner at one time but now that I am heavier people treat you different I have been on both sides of it I would give anything to have a condition that caused me to lose weight one time and not gain

  • Christaann

    I’m confused. The article appears to have been posted in December 2011, but refers to a Glamour magazine photo that’s more than two years old–the Glamour magazine in question is from September 2009. Perhaps the article should include how things have changed in the last two years. Has Glamour had anymore “real-sized” woman spreads in the last two years?

  • http://www.coastguardcouple.com Tiffany

    Good job! I hate to be made to feel like I’m a fatty when I’m a size 10! Geez people, I’m 5’9″! Any skinnier and I’d be anorexic!

    • Dee

      Not true! I am 5’9 and am a size 6. Not anorexic just work out!

      • http://www.coastguardcouple.com Tiffany

        Good point! With my body shape though, it just isn’t realistic for me. Glad it works for you though!

      • applegak

        Every BODY is different! Sure people use the phrase “big boned” way too much, but I know that with the ribs and hip bones that I have there are certain sizes i will never fit into even if I am bone skinny. As an LMT i know how to palpate muscles and bones —and knowing exactly how big my ribs are, I know that i will never fit comfortably in a size small shirt, much less XS. Same for my hips. I will never healthily get into a pair of size 6 or smaller. I’m not making excuses for my weight, I know I am 25lbs overweight, however realistically I will never be stick thin. My body is different than yours, Dee, just as it is different than Tiffany’s. Working out and being healthy is great but it won’t solve everything! I have to love myself no matter what size I am, or I wont be able to get out of bed, much less exercise.

    • Tricia Weingart

      yeah im 5’8” and im a size 3/4 and they look down because i dont wear a size double zero

  • Kat

    Plus sized models are 8-10? What the hell, fashion industry? Do you think all women just stop growing at around age ten? Speaking as a size 16, large bosomed, 5’8″ woman, I can vouch for the fact that some of us get a LOT of curves, and we are far closer to amazons than delicate sylphs. You wanna maybe market the clothing we buy to US???

    As for Lizzie, good for you! I really hope you’re the first face of many. THIS is what I want to see, real women. I am so OVER the plasticized barbie dolls, the “I just got off a plane from a third world country” starvation look, and digital correction so intense that it removes all humanity from the faces of women. Freckles, scars, wrinkles, and other imperfections are sources of beauty, showing the strength and the marks of the life women have lived. Ignoring that is damned near criminal.

    And there are plenty of pictures showing the beauty of a face and body shown honestly with it’s imperfections. If fashion photographers can’t do it, apparently they just aren’t that good at their craft.

    Besides, I think we’ve all had that “oh my god, that’s so lovely, where did you get it” moment with our friends, or that instant in which you admire what someone is wearing as they walk by. I can’t recall a single time I was ever turned off the clothing by the wearer having a scar, a mole, freckles, wrinkles, or anything else on their bodies. Can anyone else?

    Do we really need idealized perfection in order to be convinced to buy clothes, or do we just need NICE CLOTHES?

    • Susan A

      I have no real objection to the industry using skinny models on the runway as long as they don’t look basically healthy and not drugged out, but they really go too far when they use 5’10 size 8 models for plus size clothes. They can find plenty of models larger than that who don’t carry their weight in their faces if that is what they are trying to avoid.

  • Amy

    I feel sexy again. THANK YOU.

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  • MarieClaude

    Kat, my mind stoped to the same thing than yours…. SIZE PLUS MODEL 8 to 10????…. No wonder why woman’s don’t feel good in their bodys!

  • Solarwind

    So nice to see this. This is what models should look like. Embrace the real beauty of real women. Keep doing this Lizzie and “Glamour”!

  • Donna

    Yes! She will be an inspiration to all. Now, if they had her in clothes there would be thousands of woman who would buy simply because they know it would fit! Nice Job!

  • Sheila

    Good on ya Glamour & Lizzie too…
    Size 8-10 plus-sized??!!??
    On which planet?
    Not THIS one.
    We seriously need to give our collective heads a good shake in this country (and elsewhere) if THAT is the message we are cramming into people’s heads. This only serves to belittle every women who is over a size 8 (which in my opinion is pretty damned thin), makes them feel inferior every time they are again slapped in the face with their perceived inadequacy, makes girls feel horrible about themselves right from a young age which will carry on into adulthood with a lifetime of dieting and mental self-flagellation where food, the mirror and their own bodies are the enemy…
    In addition, the sorts of distorted images of perfection portrayed in magazines, television, movies, fashion, porn etc has grave consequences on the psyche of our men and boys too, who then grow up thinking that THAT is what beauty is, that THAT is ALL that beauty is and anyone who falls outside that narrow parameter is ugly or disgusting, fodder for derision, discrimination, hatred and out right abuse.
    When are WE going to say enough is enough.
    When are the fashion, magazines, tv, and film industries going to WAKE-UP?
    Good on ya Glamour. I hope this isn’t just a one-of…

  • http://www.jeniferbeaudean.com Jenifer

    Such an important step to see the beauty in women regardless of size and/or shape. I applaud the team has that promoted Lizzie Miller’s photo! As a recovering bulimic I am constantly having to remind myself that healthy is the way to go! And that size is so much less important than who we are as people and the health and strength of the body we’ve been given. Even now, book published and talking openly about the subject, I still have to work at my own self esteem.
    I blogged about it a week ago, telling the story of my recent spa experience on the west coast in “Naked in Seattle.”
    http://www.jeniferbeaudean.com/2011/12/naked-in-seattle/

  • Alysia

    Put her on the cover! :)

  • beatriz

    FINALLY !! An attractive woman who is real and not just skin and bones. I stopped subscribing to magazines a long time ago because I couldn’t stand seeing nothing but anorexic models and the implication that that is beautiful. Kudos to Glamour.

  • Amanda

    The only thing I dislike about this is that most people don’t realize that there are many types of modeling. Some require women with large breasts, some require women that have a normal or “commercial” look, and some require women who are size 00. And many, many more. What we need to do is not say that these people who are skinny are bad. We shouldn’t say that any size is good or bad. We need to be telling people that EVERYONE is, regardless of if you are a 00 or a 22. It seems now that the media and women are against the typical “skinny” model style. That is just as bad as making fun of a person for being overweight. Many women are born tall and thin and there is a market for that look so it prospers. I have to add that I really hate the phrase “real woman”. Are you saying that just because a female wears smaller than a size 4 that she isn’t a women? I think having a vagina makes you a women. We also need to realize that the modeling industry is not the “real world”. Designers only make certain sizes. Partly because if they were to make a ton of items, they would not be as valuable. Many believe their styles only look good on sizes 00-2. It is their business so they are allowed to do what they like. While I admire the intention behind this article, I think it is just as bad, if not worse, than what they are claiming to be against. If you are to promote love of all body types, then you must do just that, instead of claiming that slender women are not “real”. As far as fashion modeling goes, it isn’t going to change. I wish people would realize that and worry about how they feel about themselves instead of how someone else tells them they should feel. According to this article, I am a plus size model. In the “real world” I am not. So I live my life and I don’t let it bother me.

  • Gwyn

    The “ideal woman” has varied through the ages from the buxom big bottomed ladies of Ruben’s paintings to the stick insect models of today.

    However what men really find attractive and the “ideal woman” are in fact not the same. Anthropologists showed pictures of woman of all shapes and sizes to men all over the World in every different culture. The most attractive female form was pretty well the same all over the world.

    So what does the most attractive woman look like? It is the averagely shaped and reasonably fit woman, just like Lizi Miller. For those of you who have not been to a strip joint this is what most strippers look like, club owners know their business well. A super model stripping would be laughed off the stage, (seriously they would).

    From an evolutionary point of view it makes perfect sense that the averagely shaped fit woman should be the most attractive.

    And what does the perfect male look like? Apparently just like me :-).

  • Think for Yourself

    Why are you all letting magazines tell what is and isn’t beautiful? Just because Glamour Magazine published a photo of a slightly larger girl doesn’t mean that their is suddenly a new standard of beauty. Make up your own mind. Healthy women have always been attractive, whether or not they work as models, and there is nothing wrong with exclusively using thinner models either. Those people naturally exist too, and if it is rare to find someone with an especially fit body and gorgeous face, that is precisely why they are professionals. We celebrate the most unique and exquisite members of our population, and that means the strongest athletes, the most brilliant artists, and yes especially the most attractive people. Lowering the bar isn’t what our wildly out of shape country needs, and all the average sized women who applaud these photos are complete hypocrites until they call for Ryan Gosling and Brad Pitt to be replaced with balding actors with beer bellies to better represent the real average man. Models and celebrities aren’t supposed to look normal. That’s what makes them grab our attention. Magazines aren’t at fault for publicizing an unattainable standard of beauty. That standard was already there. The population is at fault for being so infatuated with impossibly good-looking people in the first place.

  • Pix

    About damn time. I was beginning to think I wasn’t going to live long enough to see this change happen.

  • Ann Post

    I think it is great! I think of myself as an “average” woman. I toggle between a size 12-16 depending on who makes the clothes I buy. I have curves and boobs and am proud of it. For me to be a size 00 or even a 2, 4 or 6, I would have to be anorexic. I am 5’7″ and a healthy weight for me is between 135-140 pounds. If I drop below 135 pounds I look sick. I wish designers would create clothes for women like me with a bra size bigger than a D-cup. It is hard to find clothes that fit due to my boobs (which are not implants) and big thighs (muscular). Every woman is self-conscious about their body in some way. It may not be every day, but we have our moments. We all want to look good and feel sexy.

  • Amanda

    Of course this photo is still doctored, BUT this is definitely a step in the right direction! Seeing all these skinny minnies does nothing to help with an average woman learning how to love herself. And most of these women haven’t gotten their ‘womanly bodies’ yet either. I’m a size 16, full figured voluptuous woman and I’ve always been proud of the fact that I was larger. :) Granted I had my ‘fat girl’ days and still do, but damn do I make an awesome cuddle buddy and pillow! It’s about time this changes, that this generation can grow without having the pressure to be super skinny on their shoulders. :)

    • Chinese girl

      Amen sister, as a skinny minnie why anyone would want my body is beyond me. I hate my, it’s disgusting and I have to pay a fortune to get it fixed though plastic surgery so I can have a womanly body. The fashion industry lives a void that is completely the opposite of real life. In real life if you like me, flat as a board front and back nobody wants you, everyone is grossed out by your body. Society needs to quit this skinny worshiping and set up a fund to help correct all of us woman unfortunate enough to be born Asian with the crappy body structure that comes with it.

      • Frankie

        Chinese girl, be proud of your body. It’s not yours, it’s a temple lent to you by God to be worshipped and respected. So what if you are a skinny mini, YOU are a REAL woman regardless of your shape or size. Be thankful that you are healthy and able and LOVE your body girl….what a boring place the world would be if we were all the same size and shape. Be thankful you have arms and legs, your sight, your hearing, BE THANKFUL YOU HAVE A GOOD BODY and stop getting plastic surgery to fit some mans idea of the perfect body. If it aint broke lovey, DON’T FIX IT.

  • Taylor

    Women are ALL sizes. I cant even stand when they use the term “real” women. GIVE ALL SIZES OF WOMEN RESPECT! It’s disrespectful to the naturally thin women or even larger women when using the term “real”.

    • Chloe

      I SO AGREE! THANK-YOU!

  • heather-

    Beauty comes in all sizes,but when trying to showcase clothes as clothes you would want a body that resembles a hanger ie those size zeros. Its not a knock on them just the truth. Clothing models are always going to be the way they are…should our media be showing more average sized woman.for goodness sakes YES

  • http://missrepresentation.org/ Sarah

    Whatever you think of the photo shoot, you should really check out the movie Miss Representation, a movie about how our media shapes how women and men see the role of women, and what their bodies should be. It also examines how we put pressure on boys to be hyper-masculine and for women to be objects, instead of full human beings, and how this impacts everything from what we buy, to who we elect. It’s a great documentary.

  • Eric

    She IS perfectly thin, if you ask me. I love this story, I’m just wondering why it’s 2 years after the Glamor article??

  • Richard

    I’m a man and a would-be nude art model. Lizzie Miller’s body looks a lot like my body. It would be interesting to see how an ordinary man and an ordinary woman compare, side-by-side, though it might be more aesthetically pleasing if they both were at least toned.

  • FashionCat

    I understand that using a model of her size is good for the self esteem and confidence building of magazine readers. But saying that a woman should feel confident no matter what her size is contradicted by calling her a “REAL” woman. Where does that leave everyone else? You are doing to all of those who are much smaller and larger than she exactly what you are fighting against. Call her “averaged” sized, and celebrate her beauty but there is no need to throw insult to others into this by implying that her size makes her more real than others who are not her size.

  • http://kamasutraworld.net Bruce

    REAL women are curvy, sexy, hot, desirable, fabulous and beautiful… no matter the opinions of the fashion industry, magazines, blogs, tv shows etc. etc. Men DO admire, want, lust after and desire Real Women.

    • Bethie

      Hey now, I consider myself a REAL woman and I am only 5’6″ and 105 lbs. I have weighed the same since a was 13 and I don’t do anything except go to the gym for two hours a week. I feel discriminated against when you say REAL women have curves. I was born this way, I’m a REAL woman and I don’t have curves. Don’t make me feel like shit just because I don’t have curves or fat on my body. If you look around the media hasn’t influenced much our country is still one of the fattiest in the world.

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  • Lindsay Wantwadi

    Beautiful or not- I wish she had some clothes on. I was directed to this link for an article, I don’t want to see naked anyone. You can show your “normal” body with clothes on just like without them. Its sad that be to considered confident in your body you need to be naked to the world… she’s only 20!

    • Richard

      You can’t tell what a person’s body looks like if they are wearing clothes. That’s the whole point in nude modeling; artists need to learn to draw real human bodies, not figments of their imagination.

  • JaeLynn

    I love this picture it makes me want to cry, she is so beautiful. When I was younger I was thin and I never felt pretty or sexy, but after 2 kids and a lot of curves I feel way hotter then I ever did being boney and thin. I have way more confidence now but when I see an extremely thin model it reminds me of my love handles and big breasts. It makes me feel like people think I am fat and ugly. I would rather be curvy and confident then hating myself and wondering what people think about me. I am so glad other women are sick and tired of being told they aren’t thin enough to. I would gladly pose naked if it could shut people up about women being too curvy.

  • K.J.

    I always avoid beauty magazines because they make me feel fat and ugly, and I’m a size 4-6. There is something wrong with that. I know I’m not fat – I’m just unevenly porportioned, and there is nothing wrong with that. I would definitely start buying more magazines if they featured normal and healthy women like Lizzy and myself – without all the airbrushing.

  • Nichole S

    Amazingly beautiful! I am a 33 year old American woman who has given birth to four amazing kids. Seeing this picture of such a stunning woman with curves, a tummy, and a beautiful smile touches my soul. Growing up, I always felt ‘fat’, even as a size 4 when I started high school. Graduating high school at a size 9, I felt even more so. I realize now, 15 years later, that I was HEALTHY and NORMAL. I am really hoping more women like Lizzie continue to grace magazines, and that my daughters understand that bones and gaunt aren’t real or healthy, but that curves are real and healthy. Add in confidence and they’re good to go. Glamour, I hope you really pay attention to how the majority of your readers continue to respond to this, two years later.

  • Rob

    Every-body has curves…

  • Kara

    I’m sure I’ll offend people but I hate that clothing companies are catering to these ridiculously large sizes! They’re making the small sizes larger than they used to be which just makes it harder for those of us who are normal sizes to find clothes! I’m 31, have two kids, and wear a size 2 but lately I have to wear a size 0 because designers are trying to make overweight people feel better by making sizes larger. I go to the mall and there’s more plus size clothing stores than there are regular stores, I can’t stand it! I want to know when people are going to understand that being overweight or obese is unhealthy and should not be praised or catered to!

    • FashionCat

      I completely agree Kara!

    • Tasha

      So… what do you want them to wear… MuuMuus and bedroom shoes?

      I’m not sure what mall you go to where they cater more to plus sized individuals, but your mall is certainly one in a million.

      You as a size 2 or 0 have more choices when it comes to clothing. Women who you consider to be overweight or obese make their choices in life and their eating habits, but that doesn’t mean they should fight for clothes to wear.

      Seriously. Get over yourself!

      • Chloe

        ACTUALLY! unless we are willing to spend thousands of dollars on a shirt and CHANEL… its not easier to shop for skinny women. My boyfriends mom took me shopping for a new years dress, i tried on every single 0 and xs in the store and left crying because they were all too big. Think before you judge.
        you get over yourself.

    • Bethie

      I agree, I’m wearing a size one right now that is falling off my ass because. The large people have complained so much. I don’t care what size you are if you are healthy, but FAT isn’t healthy it will kill you in the end and I wish we could get this through peoples heads. Being anorexic is just as unhealthy I understand and have been picked on for years because I’m skinny. I used to be able to find clothes, now everything is TOO big. I hate it.

      • http://oklahomarsdcrpssupport.com tracy jones

        I am sorry you feel that people overweight choose to be we dont I am overweight because I have had a thyroid not working for 8 yrs how would you like it if you only eat about 800 calories a day and can gain 6 pounds in two days it is hard I just had my thyroid completely removed the thyroid is what controls your body and it is so misunderstood by doctors as well as the public I think what people are trying to say that not everyone should feel like we have to be a size 0 and that is what the media makes us feel I have a whole list of medical problems not from weight but from a injury so I no longer can workout like I use to but when you are out in the public and that look at you like they do I do not care to go anywhere I have gone from a size6 to a size 16 and I have no comtrol on my body so what I am trying to say is that most women are a size 10-12 and to the media we are fat that is not true my bloodwork is great I have no problems from what my thyroid has caused so just because we are not a size 2 does not make us unhealthy

  • Alexia Johnson

    Being healthy is the most important thing in life! One should be healthy. If being too skinny or too fat is not healthy, then this should be addressed. I am naturally more on the skinny side no matter how much I eat, and I eat a lot. I would never look like Lizzie no matter how much food I eat, and I am over 30. We are genetically a skinny BUT healthy family. So what is a real woman? I suppose we can in different sizes depending on the race, genes, what kind of food we ate while growing up, etc. So be careful people. Many women in the USA are obese. let’s not encourage young girls to eat fast food and sugar all day and tell them they are “Real”. We should encourage girls/women to be healthy and happy no matter how they look (skinny or not). Just like it’s bad to be anorexic, it is equally bad to be obese or overweight (diabetes, heart issues, shorter lifespan).

  • http://feelgoodstyle/yahoo John

    Wow, you look fantastic Lizzy! Are you married?

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  • Chloe

    I’m 21, 5’3 and 95 lbs, I have just as many concerns about the way I look in the mirror as a woman who feels she is overweight. I am constantly stared and and made fun of for “having a eating disorder”. I am the FURTHEST from having an eating disorder. I eat almost 2,200 calories a day average, usually more! For my size, that is a lot of food. Then when I proceed to tell people this, they decide I am bulimic (“where could all the food be going?!)
    I cant begin to express how frustrating it is to hear comments on how “skinny I am” but it is unacceptable to say to another person, “look how FAT you are!”
    ITS THE SAME THING PEOPLE! The ban on “skinny” has made naturally thin women like me feel almost ashamed that I am a double zero. Stores have made a 00 size now fit like a 3, it’s so hard for me to shop.
    I think the world needs to focus on themselves, and just being healthy. Body image and a persons weight should ONLY be an issue when someone’s health is in jeopardy. Let the skinny girls be happy, and let the curvy women too. 95 pounds or 295 pounds, if the person is happy with themselves then… GREAT! We all need to learn to mind your own business and keep the comments to ourselves.

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  • Jessie R.

    You’ll notice, that most of the positive comments seem to come from the average sized woman and the negative from the stick thin variety. Interesting.

  • jarrod

    i think the woman is beautiful and no woman should be called fat bigger woman r way pretty compared to skinny my girlfriend thinks shes fat as well i tell her u had a baby ur a mother a beautiful woman just because u have a stomach or big legs doesnt mean ur fat the bigger the better!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Bethie

    You know I don’t have a problem with larger women modeling, but honestly clothes please? Yes be proud of your body, but I don’t want to see it. I’m 5’6″ and I’ve never been above 110lbs. If you want to model cool, your big boned, awesome but be in shape at least. Just because you are a bigger woman does not mean flab, you can be a nice attractive tight woman even if you aren’t a “small” it just takes harder work and dedication. I’ve modeled for years and I don’t think they told her she couldn’t model because of her size it’s because she isn’t in shape. You don’t have to be anorexic to model just in the best physical shape for your body size. Good luck.

  • Lyn Smith

    My only thought about the Lizzy Miller pic …no quest ion she is beautiful… but she looks really really happy. So many times the world equates above model weight to unhappiness. You rock Lizzi!

  • stacie

    while I am happy they are using models for all sizes and this pretty girl has brought attention to more real appearance of genuine women, I do not appreciate the sexual exploitation of her having to remove her clothes for this. Women are not circus freak shows and should be viewed as beautiful and lovely without having to expose their bodies like common prostitutes and disrobing as part of their job.

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